I stared at Mike’s door, wondering if I did the right thing in coming promptly over. Mike didn’t have to know my choice regarding Jack’s offer any more than he felt I needed to understand just what he was doing with Rose earlier that day. It was his decision to create this new kind of privacy in our lives; I should follow in the same consistent manner.
Raised voices got my attention, especially the softer, obviously female voice. Rose was in there and I felt myself go crimson at the implication. Had they been here this entire time? I didn’t want to know but something motivated me to raise my hand so I could knock, interrupting whatever might be going on inside. The worst case scenario making me feel incredibly nauseas.
Before I had that chance, the door flew open and in front of me was Rosalie herself. But instead of her usually sophisticated style, tears were streaming down her cheeks, well, cheek as her face was turned away from me causing us to collide, while yelling at Mike that he would regret….something.
Now that my presence was obviously known to her, she stepped back and stared at me with more hatred than I thought anyone could hold. “You!” was all she said.
I looked past her to Mike who was understandably surprised to see me. A brief look flashed over his face, so quick Rose may not have seen it, but I did. I knew and whatever worries I had about what might be going on between them, immediately evaporated.
She walked past me towards the stairwell, trying to regain the dignity she had inspired from my first meeting with her. Pausing, she said, “She might be younger, Mike, but someday you’ll realize who you really want. Too bad I’ll have moved on.”
I didn’t watch her exit, my attention drawn to Mike to see how he would react. His expression was a smirk until he looked at me. I knew he had no idea what I was doing there, and I didn’t even care to tell him. I knew now that my earlier excuse of my meeting with Jack was just that, I wanted to come here to find out what was going on between Mike and Rose.
Putting his hands in his suit pockets, he said, “I’m not sure what that looked like. Look, I meant what I said earlier, I wouldn’t get back with Rose if she was the last woman on Earth.”
I knew that of course, at least now I did. But I realized then hearing him admit it out loud gave my heart a jump and I decided the unnecessary worry I had earlier allowed me to keep him guessing to my own thoughts for now. Taking the initiative, I walked in, stating, “I see.”
Shutting the door behind him, he went on, “She wanted to meet me after the verdict and since I told her I was going to be there anyway, she must have gotten the wrong idea why. We went and got coffee, where I told her she needed to watch herself. People in this city knew what she was really like, and would be watching her. These stunts by her would not be tolerated.”
He paused, studying me. I kept my face as expressionless as possible. Clearing his throat, he went on, “So today was a light day, and I didn’t need to head back to the courthouse. I knew Jack wanted to speak with you and felt like my presence could be a distraction.”
I nearly lost it then, knowing he was fishing around for my answer. The only one he got was the raising of my eyebrow.
“Anyway, I came here, and it took her all of an hour to show up at my door. I let her in, against my better judgment and found out she is as crazy as Emma Kim. Apparently she somehow read into what I said as code for us beginning a secret relationship. I sort of went off then, making it crystal clear that there was nothing between us anymore, and I hoped to never lay eyes on her again for that matter.”
Comparing Rose Floyd to Emma Kim pretty much ruined my ability to keep a straight face. The murderer we put behind bars lived under the delusion every man she encountered wanted her in his bed. Mike’s comparison to Rose certainly was apt, especially remembering her last remark. “Well, good thing I got here when I did then, she might have tried to seduce you.”
He snorted at that, “I think I could have managed to resist. But that does lead me to ask, what are you doing here, Connie? Not that I don’t welcome a visit from you anytime.”
His tone resurrected the flush on my cheeks that was there earlier. Of course, he knew something was going on. I tried to play it nonchalant and coy, using Rose as a model. “Oh, I just thought you were interested in what Jack had to say to me, and what I had to say to him. Of course, if you are too busy right now, it can wait until Monday.”
I tried to breeze past him but it didn’t work. He grabbed my arm and spun me around, his face within inches of mine. My body still remembered the kiss from a week ago, and it took all my self control to remain in place, even when he said my name in a husky manner, “Connie?”
“I turned Jack down.”
That was not the answer he expected, and he stepped back. I tried to ignore the disappointment I felt at the distance between us.
“You turned him down? Why did you do that?”
“I’m not ready, Mike. I was very flattered that you both think I could possibly be an EADA but I still need some more experience before I’d feel comfortable…”
“Connie, you are the brightest ADA we have. What’s more, you’ve got a natural charisma when you speak to the jury, and it’s being wasted sitting as a second chair to…”
“Oh, I expect to be talking a bit more in front of the jury now , Mike,” I interrupted, beaming from his compliments. For the first time, I really knew he meant them and the feeling was wonderful. “I think it’s time I stepped up more often in court.”
He started to say something but stopped. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking; he looked almost worried which bothered me too. “What?” I asked.
“Well, are you okay with…you still want to work with me after…” he turned very red himself. I softened; Mike usually had a hard shell around him for the whole world to see. Seeing him so vulnerable and nervous, I had the urge to take him into my arms, a gesture that should have been foreign but felt so naturally right.
“Yes, Mike,” I said, while placing my hand boldly on his cheek. “Whether I took the promotion or not, I knew I wasn’t giving you up, one way or another.”
I waited then for what seemed like an eternity, letting the words sink in. Then he smiled, touching my waist to draw me closer. His lips were warm and inviting. My arms went around him as I opened my mouth, happily exploring his as he did mine. His hands gently pulled off my blazer and I began unbuttoning his shirt. His mouth left mine, making me whimper slightly, until I felt his lips running down my neck, causing my whole body to shudder.
“Mike,” I groaned, which stopped him.
He raised his head back up to mine, looking me in the eyes. “You sure you want this?”
“Yes.” I stated firmly. He answered by giving me a kiss that made my toes curl.
I felt sunlight hitting my face, and slowly my eyes opened. Mike began to stir, and I realized I was lying practically on top of him. Memories of what we did to each other the night before flooded my mind, and I instantly smiled.
“Morning,” he said, sleepily.
“Morning,” I returned, feeling a little shy. I wasn’t sure why, given he now knew every part of my body. I turned to face him, and could see the vulnerability he showed from the night before.
“Connie, last night was…” again, he stopped, like he was afraid to put voice to his thoughts. Reaching up, I caressed his cheek, the stubble feeling slightly rough on my hand. I’d never seen him with stubble before; he looked quite sexy with it.
“Incredible.” I finished his sentence. There was so much I wanted to say, I used to think he was the last man I would ever get involved with but now I knew without a doubt he and I could make this work. Hearing my earlier description gave him the self confidence he needed though, he rolled me over so he was on top of me, grinning from ear to ear. “Yes, it was,” he said, and then gave me a deep kiss.
Desire overtook me and I was glad it was Saturday so we could spend the morning like this, but my body had other ideas.
“Was that your stomach?” he asked. I had to giggle, only realizing now we had skipped dinner last night and I was now starving.
“Yes, I guess so.”
Pulling away, I could see the twinkle in his eyes. “Well, I can now see why you eat such a heavy breakfast and lunch before court. The jury would be too distracted if they heard all that rumbling during a trial.”
My eyes narrowed, but the smile remained on my face. “So I’m hungry. At least I’m not addicted to coffee and I don’t whine when we don’t have time to stop at the local coffee shop. Now come on, we can tease each other in the kitchen. Surely you have something in there that’s edible.”
Behind me, I heard him mutter, “I don’t whine about anything…” causing me to chuckle. I had no idea what was in store for Mike and me, but for the first time in a long time, I felt like I might really be getting everything I wanted.